Despite Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's focus on revitalizing regional economies, growth remains uneven across Japan — with the pace of recovery slow the past year in municipalities with smaller populations, a Kyodo News survey showed Wednesday.

Nearly 80 percent of local leaders who responded to the survey expressed discontent with the effects of Abe's efforts to re-energize the economy.

Many local leaders also called for the government to focus on supporting lower-income households and improving employment conditions, rather than easing monetary conditions in cooperation with the Bank of Japan or reducing corporate tax — policies pursued as the main pillars of the stimulus program dubbed "Abenomics."